Our kitties tend to be pretty independent, and many people believe that cats can handle their own grooming needs, but that’s simply not the case. Pet parents need to give their cats a helping hand by grooming them regularly. Plus, what’s a better way to spend some quality time together than by tidying up that fabulous coat of theirs? Cat grooming is also a great way to monitor your kitty’s health.
Cats have some pretty powerful ears. While our feline friends may not need to track prey like their jungle dwelling relatives – unless, of course, we’re talking about a stray shoelace – it’s still important to keep your pal’s ears clean.
When it comes to cleaning your kitty’s ears, you need to check both the inner and the outer ear. To clean the outer ear, carefully fold the ear back and take a peek inside; if your cat’s ears are healthy, this area will be pink, have a layer of hair on the earflap, and the surface will be clean. If this is not the case and you notice discoloration, swelling, or discharge, it’s a good idea to get your feline friend in to see their veterinarian for a professional diagnosis.
The inner ear should be clear of debris and excessive earwax, pink in color, and shouldn’t be emitting any foul smells. Follow the instructions below for how to clean a cat’s ears:
- Place a little liquid ear cleaner on a cotton ball or piece of gauze
- Fold the ear back and gently wipe away any dirt or wax, but be careful not to rub the dirt into the ear
- Do not attempt to clean deep into the ear – doing so can cause damage or infection
They say the eyes are windows into the soul. They can also be windows into health issues. Clean eyes are healthy eyes and, to an even greater extent, a healthy cat. Routine home eye exams can help pet parents detect any potential health problems.
When examining your kitty’s eyes, keep in mind that:
- The eye, as a whole, should be clear and bright
- The pupils should be even in size
- The eyelid lining should be pink in color
To properly clean the eye, wipe away any crust or dirt with a fresh cotton ball and always make sure to wipe debris away from the corner of the eye. Also, be sure to snip long hairs that could disrupt vision or cause irritation to the eye. Remember, to avoid spreading any potential infections, use a clean cotton ball for each individual eye.
Skin and Fur Care
Sometimes it may seem like your cats spend all day grooming, but if they get into a sticky – or stinky! – situation, they’ll need some help from their pet parents. It’s best to give your pet cat a good brushing once or twice a week. Brushing your kitty not only makes them look healthy and clean on the outside, but it can also have some positive internal effects, like improving circulation.
Pet parents should also consider bathing their kitty every so often. While it’s no secret that most cats are water-adverse, it’s still a good way to maintain good kitty hygiene – even if it’s not the most enjoyable activity, for you or your cat.
Most pet parents know it when they hear it – the sound of a kitty scratching their nails on the side of the couch, the back of the chair, a mattress pad, or anywhere else they can dig in. If you want to lend a helping paw to your feline friend, consider giving your cat a nail trim. In fact, it’s a good idea to give kitty a periodic nail trim, whether they’re scratching furniture or not.
What’s another way for pet parents to keep their kitties healthy and happy? By taking them to the vet for regular checkups. With an ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan, you can get reimbursed for both routine and emergency visits. Start a free quote now.